April is officially Dig Safe Month in Ontario. The Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) has dedicated this month, which coincides with the spring season, to raise awareness of safe digging practices in order to improve safety and reduce damages to underground infrastructure.
Throughout the month, Dig Safe events will take place across Ontario and targeted messaging will be disseminated to educate the public on the critical importance of calling or clicking before you dig, waiting for the locate, and respecting the marks.
Based on the results of the 2017 DIRT Report, the need for education remains critical: each year, the Ontario Regional Common Ground Alliance (ORCGA) releases a DIRT Report which rounds up damage prevention statistics from across the province in order to identify patterns and trends in utility damage events. This year’s Report found that 2017 was a challenging year in Damage Prevention:
- There was a 12% increase in damages across Ontario as compared to 2016
- There have been dramatic increases in damage events throughout several geographic areas including the GTA and London with 30.5% (467) and 40% (66) increases respectively
- 39% of the utility damage incidents that occurred were related to not contacting Ontario One Call and not securing a locate in advance of excavation activity
- In 2016, an estimated $975 million was spent across Canada on societal costs related to damage to underground plant. This figure refers to costs associated with emergency response, evacuation, environmental contamination, interruption to service and the use of safety services such as 911
You can get involved by sponsoring or attending a Dig Safe event near year. Become familiar with Dig Safe best practices and share this information with your customers and colleagues. Be sure to spread the word that April is Dig Safe month!
Learn more about damage prevention, utility locating and safe excavation by perusing multiVIEW’s library of articles.